Thursday, October 17, 2013

A New Season

Fall is in full swing here, and that means it's time for fall planting. Around here our winters are cold (down to the teens or 20's at night during our coldest nights), but still warm enough during our sunny afternoons that we are able to grow a few things.

A couple of weeks ago our winter lettuce, carrots, and onions went into the ground after the raised beds holding them were fortified with  compost and extra soil.  I don't know if we will have enough growth to enjoy some fresh salads with our holiday dinners, but that's the idea.


The other beds will be fallowed, with a cover crop of ryegrass and with compost added to them before they're ready for spring planting, so ensure the soil is healthy and happy.  With year-round planting, it's extra important to continually build up the soil, since it's used for more than one crop a year.  But as we now have more beds than before, we will actually be able to fallow everything for at least a season (on a rotational basis) and give the ground a well-deserved rest.

My fall plantings have been all about putting in what grows easily. With a year's worth of growing and harvesting under our belts now, we know that winter broccoli and cauliflower are hard to grow here due to insect issues. So we are not bothering with them at all. Besides, I like to slow down a bit in winter and enjoy some time by the fire, so less planting means I can be more lazy.  But I still need a good crop of carrots and onions ready to go in spring, and the cooler weather is the only time we are able to grow salad greens here, so the work can't stop completely.

Fall is also a good time to complete -- ahem -- the tasks certain farmers promised their wives they'd do all summer long and didn't, so to that end Big Ag has completed the trellis for our grape vines and our berries, which all look very healthy and happy at the end of the long summer.  Now that they're big enough, they will be tied and trained to the trellis to make for easier picking come next summer.

Grounded ollalieberries....
...will now be trellised!

Pretty soon now most of the fruit trees will be undressing and falling into their winter slumber, but these beauties (below) are now adorning our pomegranate tree out in our yard with their delightful (and delicious) red bulbs, just in time for the holidays.  It's hard to pick them when they look so pretty on the tree!

Tree ornaments


  1. Wow! What a gorgeous area you live in. I've been around there once but from the hillside pic it looks more like the hills of Emilia-Romagna. It's mind-boggling to me that you can grow a pomegranate tree there. How wonderful that you have the space to rotate your beds and give them a chance to rejuvenate. I swear the only people who easily grow broccoli are my aunt and uncle 2 hours north of Seattle. It bolts in about three minutes in my (tragic) garden.

  2. Depending on what time of year you were here, the hills might have been green? Usually about July they brown out until December, then green up again. But the vineyards stay green all summer long. Right now everything is SO brown and dry though, we need rain badly (bet you've got plenty!). And speaking of green things, I'd love to have broccoli that lasted long enough to bolt, mine falls victim to the bugs long before then!